Biden promised to nominate black woman to Supreme Court role 'in exchange' for endorsement


All three candidates for an upcoming vacancy on the highest court in the US are black women, suggesting Joe Biden will honour his campaign pledge made in February 2020, ahead of the critical South Carolina primary. However, authors of a book called ‘Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency’ claim he was strong-armed into making that promise in return for the much-needed endorsement of Jim Clyburn, House majority whip and one of the highest-ranking African-American members of Congress.

When Mr Biden made the campaign pledge, he heralded it as a decision motivated by trying to achieve representation.

He said at the time: “Everyone should be represented.

“The fact is, what we should be doing — we talked about the Supreme Court. I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court to make sure we in fact get every representation. Not a joke.”

“It’s required that they have representation now. It’s long overdue.”

However, in their book, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, journalists for NBC News and The Hill respectively, tell a different story.

The book states that when Mr Biden still hadn’t made the pledge by halfway through the South Caroline primary debate, Mr Clyburn took Trump’s rival aside and chided him.

According to NBC, Mr Clyburn told Mr Biden: “You’ve had a couple of opportunities to mention naming a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

“I’m telling you, don’t you leave the stage tonight without making it known that you will do that.”

If the claim is true, Mr Biden evidently ceded to Mr Clyburn’s demands, making the necessary pledge by the end of the event.

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Mr Biden then won the presidency by both the electoral and popular vote – winning by 306 to 232 in the former, and by 51.3 percent to 46.9 percent in the latter.

The Telegraph report that, according to a person briefed on the planning who was not authorised to publicly discuss it in advance, Mr Biden will hold an event at the White House on Thursday in which he will formally announce Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.

This will allow Mr Biden to at last make good on his promise to Mr Clyburn, with all three of the potential candidates being black women.

The frontrunners for the position are US Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, US District Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, according to aides and allies.


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